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An Update on the Transformation of the Open Society Foundations in Africa

An Update on the Transformation of the Open Society Foundations in Africa

The transformation of the Open Society Foundations in Africa is progressing rapidly as the Africa Regional Office and our four separate foundations—Open Society Foundation for South Africa, Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa, Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa​​​​​​​​​, and Open Society Initiative for West Africa—move into a unified Africa strategy and structure, Open Society Foundations-Africa (OSF-Africa).

Following our regional transformation efforts, Open Society will no longer have any foundations in Africa. We will instead emerge with a new integrated structure that will facilitate cross-continental collaboration and learning and ensure that our investments both in-country and at the pan-African level are strategically better aligned and linked. This will enable delivery at a scale never before possible.

From the outset, the Africa transformation was undertaken through a process of intentional and participatory co-creation and consultation. The Africa teams and foundation boards collaboratively led and implemented the design work, always putting the transformation goal of augmenting impact at the fore, even in the midst of uncertainties and pressing demands to deliver on our mission, while engaging in a significant change process.


Following careful deliberation in 2021, we have identified four strategic priority areas for our work in Africa: Expression and Participation; Security and Rights; Justice and Accountability; and Equity and Opportunity. These are augmented by two cross-cutting approaches—Women’s Rights, and Policy and Engagement. Proposals have also been developed on how grant-making support, learning and impact assessment, and operations will contribute to the realization of the vision.

The full-length version of our strategy for OSF-Africa is available for download in English, French and Portuguese. A two-page summary of our strategy is available in English.

Open Call

In 2022, our grant-making efforts will commence as OSF-Africa. New guidelines and common templates have been created, and we’ve shared an open call for proposals. Please refer to the frequently asked questions (FAQs) we’ve collated with regard to this call.


A new Africa senior leadership team, reporting to Regional Director Muthoni Wanyeki, has been appointed. Please join us in congratulating Ibrahima Aidara as the new Deputy Director; Siphosami Malunga as Director of Programs; George Kegoro as Director of Policy and Engagement; and Lawrence Maina as Director of Operations. Together, they will lead forward our new regional entity to tackle pressing issues on the continent, such as debt recovery and climate, through cross-cutting interventions.

We are proud of the participatory and collaborative approach our colleagues from around the continent have adopted to help us transform. This approach has helped us move the needle on our  efforts. We have established a structure that will enable us to achieve impact at a pan-African level, while at the same time remaining locally grounded at the sub-region and country level. We look forward to all that we can accomplish together with our grantees and partners across Africa with our new unified structure.

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